CAN A LIQUID MEMBRANE EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR ROOF BY 20 YEARS?
Let’s see how spray applied coatings can help your roof, and why they have become so popular.
Spray applied coatings, AKA restoration coatings or roof coatings, are a very recent development in the flat roofing industry. Because they are so new, they don’t have the reputation and haven’t built trust with those in the industry to be a major player yet, but their performance in their short life has been impressive and promising. Spray applied coatings are just one of the many different commercial roofing systems available to you today. We aren’t talking about any specific coating, just he spray applied coating market in general. Three of the most common spray applied coatings are silicone, acrylic and aluminum.
The greatest advantage of any spray applied coating is its ease of application you can expect from the material. All you need is a drum of material and spray equipment, and you can install a spray applied coating. Most coatings adhere directly to most substrates without a primer, so that is another step you don’t need to worry about.
Another huge advantage, that may even be more significant than the first, is that spray applied coatings are seamless. Once applied, the coating adheres to the roof surface and to itself, forming an extremely strong, tight, and well-adhered membrane. Because of how spray-applied coatings are designed, they can only be penetrated by water if they are installed incorrectly. The adhesion and cohesion properties of spray applied coatings allow it to tightly adhere to the roof, even around difficult and awkward protrusions.
The next significant advantage of spray applied coatings is the fact that they are highly reflective. Once the coatings have cured, they reflect the sun’s rays back into the atmosphere and help to keep both the roof surface and the building interior cool, which saves energy inside the building.
Another advantage to of spray applied coatings is ease of repair. Should a crack or leak develop in the coating, it can typically be sealed with caulk and repaired in about 15 minutes (not including cure time) once located. Annual or bi-annual inspections can help you keep track of areas that are damaged or appear to be at risk. Once you identify the problem, it can be fixed and the roof is once again water tight, without ever having to contact a roof maintenance man.
The installation process is tedious, and can wear on employees. While it is simple and often fast to install, it takes some precision that is often absent from other roofing materials. This means you need quality contractors that stay focused the entire time, or something may get missed.
Another disadvantage of spray applied coatings is oftentimes the visual aspect. When first applied, these roofing systems are very aesthetically pleasing. A bright, shiny white (usually, occasionally other colors are used). However, after some time in the elements, they begin to grab dirt and leaves and other foreign substances. Spray applied coatings often have a sticky layer on their surface for some time after installation, and that means they hold onto a lot of debris, including dirt. While they can be easily cleaned with a power washer, they will get dirty again. This is perhaps the greatest weakness of spray applied coatings; they don’t look as good as some of the other commercial roofing systems.
Spray applied coatings are one of the best materials to put on a flat roof today. They require no tear-off prior to installation, and their disadvantages are considered minor by most people. They aren’t perfect, no system is, but they lack a lot of the problems that come with many other roofing systems. If you are considering spray-applied coating, consult a professional to figure out which type of coating is best for your roof and your climate.